Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile

In this ever bustling, busy, always in a rush world, I sometimes find a quite moment to reflect on my good fortune and how wonderful life can be. It is then that I find the little, simple things that make me smile.

My children. All seven of them.

Next Wednesday is their first day back to school. It will be wonderful that they will finally end their summer vacation lounging in my house all day, and I can now sit for a quite moment to read, scratch, burp, blog, doodle, and watch TV without being disturbed. By day two I’ll be so bored and hoping upon hope that the bus driver will make a u-turn and bring my children back.

Its when they are at home and fighting, and picking with each other, or just being their own usual rambunctious selves I then grit my teeth and say:


Then again, I haven’t been talking to the lord lately, so when HE sees me on the caller ID, I think he hangs up.

Either that or he just smiles as if to say, ‘You can handle it.’

I’ll go for the latter.

My eldest son, as stated in earlier posts can tickle my funny bone and make me laugh.

The diva shines in her own special way.

Then there is diva #2 who has now come into her own and has surprised me with holding down a job this summer, and she has really blossomed into a beautiful young lady.

Then that leaves Tisha who is twelve, Taj who is nine, Tamara who will be seven soon, and baby Trinity who is three.

Out of those four, it is Tamara who gives me the most reflection on my days when I need a smile.


TAMARA falling off of the steps in her haste to help with the final touches in the flower garden in the front yard: “OWWW! Waaaaah, I cut my knee!!”

ME running to aid my poor clumsy child: “What happened? How’d you fall? Are you okay?”

TAMARA clearly the drama queen as her little ‘scrape’ has now become a very big deal: “Aaaaaaaah! I’m gonna die!”

ME clearly used to the dramatics: “Shhh now. You’ll be okay. Look it’s just a scratch, not even a cut. Why don’t you go inside and get a band-aid? There’s a good girl. You can stand. I’ll help you up the stairs. I got the door. Okay. Now go in your bathroom and look under the sink cabinet

and there is a green and white box full of band-aids. Find one or two and put them on your cut.”

TAMARA pouting: “I want a big band-aid.”

ME clearly tired of the dramatics by now but trying not to sound too impatient: “You can have a big band-aid. Just pick whichever one you want.”

TAMARA clearly all better now that the words ‘band-aid’ and ‘whichever one you want’ was mentioned: “Aren’t you coming in with me? Can you wipe it for me?”

ME: “You’ll be okay girl. Just go in there and find a band-aid. You can use a piece of tissue to wipe off the little bit of blood. Go ahead now. You’ll be okay.”

TAMARA walking away without a limp.


ME happily engaged in planting some lavender bushes in my psychedelic array of flowers, shrubs, and herbs. I turn around to the sound of “I FOUND IT.”

TAMARA standing on the bottom step of the front staircase proudly showing off her big band-aid.

A band-aid the same size and shape of a Kotex maxi pad without wings.


TAMARA engaged in a conversation with her older brother at the kitchen table one morning: “You know what Taj, one day you and I will be married and have houses of our own.”

TAJ clearly not in the mood to talk about the long off future with his little sister: “I’m not marrying anyone.”

TAMARA: “Well some woman will catch your fancy and make your heart tingle. She’s the one that you’ll marry. And then soon you’ll be engaged in talks about how many children you want, and what college they’ll go to.”

ME clearly intrigued at this little six year old munchkin and her tendency to sound just like her momma.

TAJ clearly annoyed now because he wants to be done with this talk so that he can play the Wii: “Yeah, yeah. Look I’ll have kids. Lots of kids and I’ll bring them all to your house when I’m tired of them.”

TAMARA intrigued as well: “Oh yeah, how many?

TAJ: “Uh, about 10 or twelve.

TAMARA sucks in her breath sharply, eyes nearing bulging out of her head as she stares at her brother while holding her spoonful of cheerios precariously over the edge of her bowl. “Huh?!?”

ME nearly choking on the piece of toast that I almost sucked down my throat at Tajs’ response.

TAJ happy that he finally got Tamara to shut up for once since they began eating: “Yup about ten or twelve will do. I gotta get a big house though.”

TAMARA: Silence

ME: Stunned silence

TAJ drinking the last of his milk and burping in response to our stares. “What about you, how many children are you gonna have?”

TAMARA recovering from the shock of being told that she will one day be the aunt to ten or twelve nieces or nephews from one brother: “I don’t know Taj. I guess I’ll just borrow some of yours.”


TIA searching for some tool to finish a necklace that she was repairing: “Help me find it Tamara. I seen you with it last. I told you again and again not to touch my things.”

TAMARA sitting on the couch engrossed in another mindless episode of Spongebob Square Pants: “I didn’t have it I told you! Why you always blame me for things?!?”

TIA clearly losing patience: “Cause you always LOSE MY STUFF!”

ME trying to diffuse the situation: “Alright, calm down Tia. It has to be somewhere. Did you check the garbage? You know that is a favorite hiding place of Trinitys’.”

TIANA coming into the kitchen; our family meeting place, clearly looking for something as well: “Anyone see the tweezers? I think I got a splinter in my hand.”

TAMARA not looking from the TV screen to address Tiana: “I think I saw those in the room somewhere.”

TIANA: “Where?”

TAMARA shrugging her shoulders: “I don’t know.”

TIANA: “Well could you go get ‘em?”

TIA: “First she has to help me find my wire cutters so that I can finish this necklace. I have to have this done by tonight.”

ME sensing that things are going to heat up real soon: Okay, okay girls. Take a breather and calm down. Tamara turn off the TV and find the wire cutters. Tiana come with me. I think I know where some tweezers are.”


ME: “Tia did you find the wire cutters?”

TIA sounding like she is ready to explode: “NO!”

ME: “Well, join the club. I haven’t found any tweezers either. Tiana you alright?”

TIANA: “Yeah. It’s no biggie. It’ll eventually come out if I can’t find the tweezers.”

ME: “Don’t be silly. It can get infected!”

TIANA shrugging in response.

***** MINUTES LATER *****

TAMARA: “I found it.”

ME: “Found what?”

TAMARA: “The tweezers.”

ME: “I thought you were looking for the wire cutters?”

TAMARA: “Can’t find ‘em.”

ME: “Alright, bring what you got. I’m in the kitchen.”

ME turning to reach for the tweezers that Tamara has found as she walks in the kitchen, only to discover that she has found these gigantic pair of pliers with yellow handles and a scary doodad on the side.

ME, TIANA, and TIA can’t stop laughing at Tamara’s frown as she doesn’t understand what did she do that was so darn funny.

It’s these little moments that makes me smile. And grateful that I have a tribe of seven kids to keep me entertained.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mom, The Wolfman and Me

I am going to tell you all a secret. Something my mom doesn't even know about.

I used to have the biggest crush on Joaquin Phoenix. Notice the emphasis on the words 'used to'.

Just to give you a little history lesson on my crazy and innocent crush.

As a little teen bopper in the late 80's, I used to LOVE his brother River Phoenix. I thought he was the cat's meow. Saw all his movies, read every article about him. Watched him live at the Oscar's and prayed hard that he would win. I even considered stalking him in L.A. when we lived in Cali. It was closed to being obsessed that I could come.

Then he overdosed in front of the Viper Room in Hollywood, and that was all she wrote.

Years later I saw Gladiator and fell head over heels for the tyrannical Commodus. The acting was chilling and I was all about bad boys then. (That would explain the EX husband).


I watched and bought all of his movies, joined his fan club, read every coverage on him from People magazine to GQ, and I even went so far as to attempt to write him a fan letter. I never mailed it.

I even considered putting his name on my license plates. They would have looked like this:


The hubby wasn't going for it. I don't blame him. Now.

It was this photo that did it for me last January.

Joaquin + Mountain Beard = SAY WHAT?!?

Okay what is it with actors who have such a brilliant career, and they want to throw it all away to pursue a music career. Yeah I know we've heard it all before, and my crush (even though innocent) died the moment I saw that picture.

Call me shallow, but I can't comprehend the former actor who almost won two Oscars and won one Golden Globe as a rapper. Can you?

He won a Grammy for the soundtrack 'Walk The Line', and now he wants to be a rapper. And guess who is rumored to produce his record? P. Diddy.

Yes people I know, the news is old about Joaquin Phoenix wanting to be a rapper. To prove that he is serious, BIL Casey Affleck is recording a documentary about the whole transition. A rapper who started his career rapping to such titles such as 'I Want A Refund', and droning on and on and trying to rhyme 'boom' and 'room' over and over again. Yes, rapping world beware, there is a new kid in town!

It's not even good rapping like Eminem, but it sounds like something put together on a paper napkin at the bar, two minutes before going on stage.

Yes, this twice nominated Oscar boy of Hollywood used to make my heart go all a flutter, but not anymore.

It's just scary.

And my mom still doesn't know.